Today marks the start of my ‘Featured Artist’ posts here on Art of the Genre. This will be a continuing series, and as it is all about the art, there should be multiple posts for each artist.
So who gets the honor of being my first artist? Well, the venerable Stephen Fabian, that’s who. Born in 1930, Stephen has been an incredible contributor to science fiction and fantasy for over the past sixty years. He’s received the World Fantasy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006 and has had several Hugo nominations throughout his illustrious career. And yes, he’s also been an artist for D&D, both in the Dragonlance fiction as well as contributing to many of the Gazetteer series setting modules and of course Ravenloft.
When I look at Stephen’s work, especially his b/w illustration I’m completely blown away by what he is able to accomplish. The depth of each piece, the subtlety of his lines, and the spot shading seem to make every piece come alive like few other artists can manage.
It is astounding that he is self-taught, which speaks to the raw talent he possesses in the field. It is said he was heavily influenced by Virgil Finlay and if you see Finlay’s work you’ll know this to be an absolute fact.
My friend John R. Fultz recommended a book to me last year, We are all Legends by Darrell Schweitzer, and once it was in my possession I discovered interior illustrations by Fabian and was quickly hooked. His ability to tell stories with his art is incredible, and as an illustrator he has very few peers.
Fabian is certainly a master of his craft, and each time I see one of his pieces I’m moved to different worlds which is all one can desire from the art you witness in this genre.